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  1. A user called "Bill" starts from external LMS "Moodle" logged in as a teacher
  2. User clicks on the LAMS "Open Author" link which is controlled by the integration.
  3. A request is made to LAMS to open author for a user, LAMS looks for a user called "Bill" from the list of "Moodle" users, if it cannot find one, it creates one on the fly.
  4. User is authenticated in LAMS as "moodle_Bill".
  5. User drags a moodle forum tool in LAMS author onto the authoring frame and opens the authoring page for the tool.
  6. User is redirected to the moodle forum tool author page which is located on the external "Moodle" server.
  7. User's session credentials are maintained on external Server.

Course/User Mapping - CustomCSV

One of the key differences betweens LAMS and other LMS systems is that learning designs and activities do no sit in the context of a course or a group. LAMS learning designs are completely independent, and are not applied to a group/course until they are used to start a lesson. In most other LMS systems this is not the case, to create an instance of an activity you must save it in a course, and also save it with a user who has permissions to do so for that course. The permissions for viewing/editing/monitoring are managed by the course that the activity is saved in.

So here in lies one of the main difficulties in developing a tool adapter tool, when the the user drags the tool adapter tool onto the canvas and clicks on it to open author, how will the external tool know which course it is supposed to be made for on the external LMS, or which external user? The LAMS tool by default does not know this sort of information. Somehow this information has to get from the original author call from the external LMS.

The way this problem has been resolved in LAMS is to create a new class of tool called the tool_adapter tool that expects an extra parameter called "customCSV". This parameter is a comma-seperated-value string that is created by the external LMS tool and passed to LAMS when the user clicks author, or another LAMS action. Since the requirements to create a new tool activity instance may vary between each tool adapter tool, and the external LMS requirements may also vary, the customCSV can contain whatever parameters are needed in order to make the tool adapter work in each situation. For example in .LRNto create a new Forum instance, you need to have a user ID, a course ID, and you need to know the course URL to get to the authoring page, so the form of the customCSV is (userId, courseId, courseUrl). Moodle on the other hand does not require a course URL, but to create a new Forum instance there you need both the user and course ID as well as a section ID so moodle knows where to display the activity on the main course page. So the customCSV was made in the form (userId, courseId, sectionId).

CustomCSV is used in alot of the extension points in the tool adapter so take note of it when reading the next sections

Extension Points

There are a couple of key points where the LAMS server will have to talk to the external integrated server in order for the tool adapter to work.

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